These Star Connectors are for a "Garden Domes 3 + Base Option."
This is the 3 frequency 5/8 fullness icosahedral dome.
Not all of the 61 required connectors are shown.
Struts can be made from any suitable rigid material, and dome size changed by proportionally resizing the struts.
For the test section square boards with ends rounded on a router were used.
These Star Connectors are made from 3/4" steel tubes (emt).
Other sizes, from 1/2" to 2-3/8" tubes can be used.
The Star Connectors are very strong.
Some of the strut materials that might be used:
-round wood dowels, square wood with rounded ends
-round, square, hexagonal (and other aluminum extrusion) metal tubes
-fiberglass poles or carbon/composite poles
-pvc or other plastic, hollow tube or solid rod
Star Connectors are labor intensive when manufacturing the many pieces. For instance 255 separate pieces make up the 61 connectors for the Garden Dome 3 with Base Option. Compare to only 165 separate full struts to make the dome. So they are more labor intensive than making the full strut, but you save on material cost and shipping weight, and can use a variety of strut materials, and resize the dome if needed.
These domes are great for portable domes that are durable and can be quickly assembled, taken down and transported. There are also ideal if you need different dome sizes for certain applications. For instance the same Star Connectors can make a 15 ft, 20 ft and 25 ft dome.
Also certain strut materials are better for attaching cover materials, compared to the full steel struts. For instance wood struts can be easily drilled, stapled or used with nails and screws. Pvc struts can be drilled or screwed and inexpensively replaced. Panels covers, board or rigid glazing, can be conveniently attached to round struts at the various mating angles on a geodesic dome.
Struts of hollow tubing can go over outside of the connector tubes. Struts that fit inside of the connector tubes can be hollow tubes or solid material such as wood or plastic. Screws or bolts can be used to secure the struts to the connectors. We drill the Star Connectors for the strut attachment and supply a carriage bolt, washer and nut, ideal for pvc struts. See Oct-Tet Truss
We can also make struts from lightweight steel tubes pressed for a smaller end diameter, similar to commonly used tent poles.
For low cost, permanent or semi permanent domes, the wood domes made from our Connector Kits and Frame Kits are the best option.
Photos: Assembling a Star Connector
An Icosa Dome made from Star Connectors is feature in Newsletter #23
The method of using square boards with ends rounded on a router was used again to make the Icosa Dome with 11 assembled Star Connectors and 25 struts.